Renn Faire Privateer Gone Mom.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Dessert before dinner after a week of *whoa.*

Sometimes, bad days happen.  Sometimes, a bad day happens, and it turns your week into a bad week.  Sometimes, bad days happen multiple times a week.

This was one of those weeks.  Between the sudden death of an amazing woman I wish I could have become better friends with, my anxieties about our family dreams and our hopes for easing those anxieties unfulfilled, and an unexpected contact from someone I tried to cut out of my everyday life a few months ago, I am desperately glad that tomorrow is Friday and we can lay this week to rest.

So, today, the Pirate family is having dessert before dinner.

Strawberry Mango Milkshake
About 1 cup of frozen mango chunks, 2 cups of frozen strawberries, 1 1/2 cups vanilla ice cream, and enough raw milk to blend it all together.  Made enough for Captain and I to have a big glass, while each Cabin Kid got a nearly full plastic cup each.

Also, my lilacs are blooming!

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Family dreams, Gender hopes, and Terror, Anxiety, and Guilt

As many of our friends know, we keep the gender of our babies a surprise until birth.  It's been a wonderful experience with all of them.  That moment when the announcement happens:

"It's a girl!" echoed by my mom yelling for the rest of my family out in the hall, "IT'S A GIRL!!!"

"Here HE is!"

"It's another boy!!"

It's amazing.  It's something I wouldn't trade for the world.

Except, this time, there's something I would trade it for.

This guilt.  This terror of being disappointed in the gender of our last baby.  The anxiety I feel about bonding with a baby I may be disappointed in from the beginning.  And, back to the guilt for feeling selfish for being picky about something that so many of my friends wish they could have.

It's no secret we're hoping for a girl.  All through our pregnancies and discussions of what we'd hoped for our family, I made it clear that my biggest dream was to have two of each.  Two girls.  Two boys. 

Well, we have two boys.  And one girl.

This baby is my only chance to make that dream happen.  And I feel so incredibly guilty for putting pressure like that on this tiny little life that has no say in helping me make that dream come true.

I am so terrified of being disappointed of the words, "It's a boy" that it's making me sick.

I don't want to waste any of this precious baby's life in this world by being disappointed in what he's not.

We had our anatomy scan last night, and The Kraken looks picture perfect.  In the later part of the scan, Cabin Girl and I decided to take the plunge and ask what the gender was.  But, the tech didn't tell us.  Either she knew I was on the fence and made the decision for me, or she just forgot.  I don't know, but it was frustrating.

So, at my midwife appointment today, I will talk to my midwife, and I will go from Team Green to Team Blue or Pink, even if it means sobbing and begging for a quick scan in the office.

I want time to get used to the idea of having 3 boys, if that is indeed what the Universe has in store for our family.  If I am to be disappointed, I want it to happen when it won't potentially affect my ability to bond with this tiny being that will need 100% of me.

Captain doesn't completely understand.  But even without understanding, he knows that I need time this time around.  

I don't know yet if we will make the gender public knowledge.  Those that are close to me will undoubtedly find out shortly after my appointment today.

Cabin Girl is eager to know if she will finally get her little sister, so she will be one of the first to know. 

For now, I will force myself to eat.  And find something to do until that clock hits 10:15 and I can take the boys to my best friend's house so I can go to this appointment alone.

Whatever the outcome, this baby is wanted and loved.  Whatever the outcome, this baby will complete our family.  Whatever the outcome, I will continue to be grateful that we did not experience a loss before this baby like we experienced with each of its siblings.  Whatever the outcome, I will breathe easier knowing that I will no longer need to be afraid.

No gender report and I've gained too much weight... yay! I think, for now, I will meditate on my fears and pray for my hopes but I will finish this pregnancy expecting a boy. We'll just keep our fingers crossed for a sweet, pink surprise come delivery time.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Dear Girl

I hope that, someday, your concern for someone else, even a total stranger, is greater than your concern for your image.  

That you find the humility to accept help when you need it.

That you respond to the question "Are you okay?" with grace, as opposed to a sneer.

You are our future, Dear Girl.  The future of myself, and my children.  And the future I saw yesterday was bleak, entitled, and snotty.  

I hope that, someday, you see a girl crying on the side of a busy street and choose to offer your help to her, rather than drive past like dozens of others.

That she is thankful for the compassion you show her.

That she accepts your help, even if all it means is a ride home instead of an agonizing, tearful walk or bus ride.

That 10 years from now you will have found that a gesture of friendship can change the world around you, even if just for a moment.

We can't all be emergency responders racing to the scene of a crime.  But we can be responders in our own neighborhood, for our friends and family, to those we meet on the street.

I hope, Dear Girl, that you made it home safely.

That you were truly okay.

That, someday, even for an instant, you regret glaring and sneering at a woman who parked her car and her kids  to make sure you were okay within 10 seconds of seeing you holding your head and sobbing on the side of that busy street.

That you had someone to tell what was wrong, without fear of judgement or consequence. 

I hope, Dear Girl.  Because what else can I do?


Monday, April 15, 2013

As useless as a single wing

There is some powerful propaganda floating around lately.  

Propaganda that elicits indignant anger more than thoughtful conversation, because people can't look past the imagined slights on their own opinions to see the real messages.

In some areas of our nation, children have better access to guns than a story, toy, or treat.

Those that know me understand that I am pro-gun rights, but advocate better gun policy.  I have yet to find a compelling enough argument to turn my opinion on high capacity assault weapons, despite many discussions with MANY different people about it.  But, when I say there needs to be better gun control, people tell me we may as well ban forks.  *Side note: This comparison has always boggled me.  When has someone's decisions regarding their own health affected the safety of their neighbors?  When I ask for a compromise, I am passed off as a liberal idiot who doesn't care about the rights of my fellow citizens.  The thing is: They are MY rights, too.  But which is greater?  Your right to arms?  Or another family's right to life?  What about a right to live without fear of whether or not your neighbor has an unlicensed firearm that is accessible by children, or someone with anger issues, a history of domestic violence, or a mental disorder?

The blame game is running rampant in our country.  THE LEFT WING wants to take away our rights!!  THE RIGHT WING doesn't care about our babies!!  THE LEFT is full of hippy idiots!  THE RIGHT is full of money grubbing warmongers!! 

I have a news flash for you:  All this flapping is getting us nowhere.  What use is a single wing to a bird of prey, like our beloved American Bald Eagle?  We flap and flap and flap, to our own rythms and desires, and yet the only way we can get what we need is by opening our mouths and screaming for someone to feed us, to sustain us, to take care of us and our problems, using our talons to claw at the OTHER wing to get it to do as we wish.

This isn't working.  On so many levels aside from gun policy.  Families are still failing to pay their mortgage; women's bodies are being subjected to the regulations of someone else's religious beliefs; our education system is getting worse, and students are noticing; our food supply is being monopolized and genetically modified by a pesticide manufacturer, small farmers are being bullied, and lawsuits threaten states that wish to give their consumers knowledge of the food they eat; parents with mentally ill children have no options for care.

Flap a little longer.  Scream a little louder.  But refusing to compromise or work together is only going to result in the continued degradation of our nation, our families, and our lives.  

Listen to your neighbor.  Learn something new.  Advocate for something you believe in.  Carry on a discussion with someone of a different opinion.  A creature that refuses to evolve will die out... why should it be any different for a country?

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Learning to let go

The Kraken is at 19 weeks gestation this week.  We're almost halfway.  Time has been flying and there are so many things I had hoped to have done at this point.  There are still so many plans up in the air.

I'm trying to focus on my family.  The kids, Captain, and The Kraken.  I'm trying to keep up with everything.  But this 2nd trimester isn't feel-good anymore.  I have more bad days than good now.  More limitations than strengths.

This isn't what I expected.

My body was becoming so strong.  My endurance was climbing.  My outside was finally starting to reflect my inside, and I was happy.

I had expected to continue down this path of fitness through my pregnancy.  Maintain a higher level of endurance.  Keep seeing progress in strengthening myself, even if only in tiny increments. 

But my body, instead of concurring, is revolting.  Braxton Hicks is upon me already; I sleep, but restlessly and uncomfortably; my sciatic bring me to tears while doing basic housework.

This isn't what I wanted.

I had hopes to be like other Crossfitting women, who worked out up until their due date.  I had hopes to be exclaimed over, like many other pregnant women who refuse to let pregnancy get in the way of their goals.  I so wanted to impress Captain with my ability to grow a child and show the world that I could move mountains at the same time.  He had expressed the same hope; that it would be HIS wife our fellow box members would be in awe of.

Disappointment is a bitter friend, and it is becoming my constant companion.  With every morning that I wake up and feel lightheaded from just walking to the bathroom.  With every muscle twinge I feel when lifting Cabin Boy #2.  Each time I get a blinding headache.  Or wake up exhausted.

I'm trying to keep in mind that this is our 4th baby.  That my body has never gone through a fit pregnancy like this.  It is both old and new territory.

The point isn't to reflect those around you, but to be the best you that you can be.  I'm having a hard time reminding myself of this.  I am not those women who work out until their tanks are empty.  I am not those women who can bust through a WOD without taking a break to catch their breath.  I am not those women that can do anything and everything they want through their pregnancy.

But I want to be.  And I have to let that go.